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Evaluating & Improving Clinical and Administrative Tools and Technology William E. Ott, MS, Paramedic CPCS Technologies EMS Management.

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Presentation on theme: "Evaluating & Improving Clinical and Administrative Tools and Technology William E. Ott, MS, Paramedic CPCS Technologies EMS Management."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evaluating & Improving Clinical and Administrative Tools and Technology William E. Ott, MS, Paramedic CPCS Technologies EMS Management Today Washington DC June 28, 2003

2 What is the goal of technology in EMS? To provide the best possible care for our patients? To have the most flashy wiz-bang toys in which to impress rival services and attract new personnel? To improve revenues and speed reimbursement? Some combination of all of these?

3 Issues to Address What do we do Rate of technology change Data systems Bio-medical equipment Communications equipment Project management and control Return on Investment (roi) Total Cost of Ownership (tco)

4 I can do it well I can do it cheap I can do it fast Pick any two Red Adair

5 The Waterfall of Technology Available Technology Learnable-Usable Technology

6 Dont be the management that you have always complained about

7 Return on Investment and Total Cost of Ownership Where will we find ROI and what is the TCO of these constant upgrades? Do we need the latest, greatest widget? Who drives our move to upgrade, especially medical equipment? Budgetary constraints Are you proactive or reactive?

8 Rate of Technology Change Medical equipment 3 to 5 years Desktop PC hardware 18 months to 3 years Servers 3 to 5 years Software 12 to 24 months Communications gear 5 to 8 years

9 Important? We believe that the greatest advances in medicine over the next two decades will result from the application of the tools and principles of information science to the problems of clinical medicine. The National Center for Emergency Medicine Informatics

10 Security Renewed Emphasis

11 Data Systems

12 Hardware PC based Notebooks Pen-Based Handheld PocketPC Palm-Based Voice Operated

13 Focus? Most business sectors spend 12-15% of revenues on information technology* Hospitals spend an estimated 2.5% of revenues on information technology* EMS spends _____? * Source: Philadelphia inquirer

14 Much waste in IT expenditures By some estimates, only 30% of IT related projects in the public sector are completed and those that are usually have significant changes in the plan during the project EMS isnt technically savvy like other public safety groups, especially law enforcement Poor technical project management skills and planning

15 Input User Assisted –Optical Mark Reader (OMR) –Optical Character Reader (OCR) –Keyboard –Voice recognition Automatic data capture –Medical devices Transformation InputOutput Control Mechanism

16 Transformation Data is: Aggregated Cleaned Validated Analyzed Transformation InputOutput Control Mechanism

17 Output Reporting –Ad hoc –Exception reports –Aggregate Publishing –Web-based Transformation InputOutput Control Mechanism

18 Quality improvement Education Administrative policies Medical protocols Transformation InputOutput Control Mechanism

19 EMS Data System Success My research reveals that the happiest providers and most successful data projects were: –Built internally from scratch with work and knowledge from staff or –Contracted out and custom built to the providers exact specifications

20 EMS Data System Success Providers using the customizable off the shelf EMS packages are seldom happy with their system Frequently these projects fail or go through more than one product Lack of customization and lack of your key data points are the biggest issues Support is frequently an issue of contention Usually would be cheaper in the end to have specced out and built custom system

21 Medical Equipment Who sets the standard? Does it impact patient outcome? How does it fit into your data system? How do you measure the cost/benefit of new technology patient care equipment? Learn to read and evaluate technical specifications Where is the research? Dont be bluffed by sales reps

22 Communications Options Wired VoIP GSM, CDMA, TDMA, IDEN terrestrial CDMA Satellite Trunked Systems –800MHz –700MHz becoming available Wireless Data –BSDN –GPRS –PacketStream

23 Role of Project Management Methodology Schedule Requirements Cost Customer Expectations Business Objectives Risk The Project Constantly balancing customer expectations and achievement of internal business objectives, while simultaneously delivering within the triple constraint

24 Responsibilities of the Project Manager A number of demands are critical to the management of projects: –Acquiring adequate resources –Acquiring and motivating personnel –Dealing with obstacles –Making project goal trade offs –Dealing with failure and the risk and fear of failure –Maintaining breadth of communication –Negotiation

25 Issues in project management Users –Often not clearly identified Use environment –System Concept and environment are not well understood Requirements –Not well-understood by either customer or developer

26 Major Reasons for Project Failure Incomplete, ambiguous, inconsistent specifications Poor (No) planning and/or estimating No clear assignment of authority and responsibility Not enough -- or wrong -- user involvement Lack of adequate tools and techniques Dependence on external sources (vendors, subcontractors) High staff turnover or inadequate training

27 Project Management Waterfall development –Emphasis on early closure on specification –Planning and design are simplified –Product may not meet real needs –Schedule and resources often problematic Rapid prototyping –Continuing user involvement -- changing or evolving requirements –Planning and design are complicated –Product usually meets real needs –Schedule and resources often problematic

28 Two Project Methods Resource constrained Problem: Finish project ASAP given max usage can be only Y in any period Time constrained Must finish project in X days/weeks, find a schedule that minimizes the resources needed

29 The Waterfall Model First formulated by Royce in the early 70s Further developed by Boehm (Software Engineering Economics) Based upon a series of discrete phases, with clear phase termination events and limited feedback between phases Dependent on a clear understanding of the initial requirements for the system


31 Project Management Sub-goals On time –On-target estimate of project schedule and effective monitoring and tracking of project activities. Within budget –On-target estimate of project budget and effective monitoring and tracking of project costs. With a high degree of user commitment –Effective client relations, including involving users, documenting requirements, and managing change.

32 All 3 PM Sub-goals are critical... Ultimately, the success or failure of a project is determined by the satisfaction of the person(s) who requested the project! On-time Within budget User commitment

33 Risk Management Explicitly incorporated into the project plan Implemented via Work Authorizing Agreements Permeate the project cycle Address technical, schedule and cost factors Risk identification Probability and seriousness assessment Decision process - trade-offs Preventive and contingent actions

34 Software Vendors Remember that every software vendor has the cure for your data problems When you sell hammers, everything looks like a nail Be cautious and ask tough questions when evaluating software Evaluate software on your hardware with no software reps around

35 Hardware Issues Using existing hardware? Obtaining new hardware? –Buy? –Lease? –Avoid bidding if possible.. –Commit at last minute to get most for the money

36 Hardware Issues Dont lowball on hardware –256MB to 512MB of RAM minimum –19 inch monitors (15 inch notebooks) –DVD, and CD-RW on at least a few Slightly more cost up front will return an extra year or more in savings in life of equipment (as of July 2003)

37 Hardware Issues – Vendors Last minute purchasing of custom configured computers works well from Dell or Gateway Longer lead time required for IBM, HP, etc.. Order no-tool systems, easy to work on Order same configurations, preloaded, saves hours of work

38 Types of Contracts Fixed-price contract Price remains fixed unless the customer and contractor agree Low risk for the customer High risk for the contractor Is most appropriate for projects that are well defined and entail little risk Cost-reimbursement contract High risk for the customer Low risk for the contractor Appropriate for high risk projects Customer usually requires that the contractor regularly compare actual expenditures with the proposed budget and reforecast cost-at-completion

39 Networking Issues Investigate xDSL, cable, wireless, point to point wireless, and BoP for connectivity to remote sites Satellite Communication Networking with 10/100Mbps gear..keep an eye on 1000Mbps gear now rolling out Committed Information Rate (CIR) from broadband vendors

40 Size of Agency Larger agencies have more flexibility in project planning, resources, budgeting, etc.. –Failure is not as painful and more readily accepted Smaller agencies require more precise project planning –Failure is painful

41 Reporting Project Status PERT Charts (Network Charts) Critical Path Modeling Gantt Charts Calendars Resource Utilization Charts Personnel Utilization Charts Keeping team updated routinely and regularly improves project success

42 Timeline for Project The parties to the project need to discuss and develop the timeline, especially if custom software is being developed Arbitrary milestone times dont work, the people that must perform a task should establish the milestones in discussion with the other parties.

43 Training Issues It is best to have system installed and operational prior to training the workers Scheduling training early in project cycle isnt a good idea Give workers access rights at training Big Bang or Slow Roll Operate concurrent old and new systems until new system is verifiable Must create and maintain personnel buy-in

44 Issues in Project Management Design –Insufficient system analysis and no way to measure adequacy Inadequate customer visibility into the development process No common vocabulary between customer and developer Unrealistic schedule and budget

45 Issues in Project Management Supply of project personnel with appropriate skills is insufficient to satisfy demand No management attention -- too much management attention No tools or training for project management Too few or no appropriate tools and resources for development team.

46 Techniques to Support Teamwork Dont insist on your process or solution if another would work –Be flexible –Dont sweat the small stuff –Evaluation - (1) How many things were resolved differently than you thought that they should be (2) How many times did you offer solutions instead of asking for them

47 Techniques to Support Teamwork Facilitate communication –Provide tools (email, white boards, etc.) –Have an open door policy and mean it –Evaluate the communication process frequently Have you talked to…, What did Lou say about that –Watch team in meetings -- who is left out –Ask how you are doing and listen to the answer

48 Consensus Decision Making Use it whenever you can Dont fail to use it if…. –You dont believe that sufficient knowledge resides in a single individual –You dont have sufficient facts –You need group commitment for implementation

49 Project Management Tools Microsoft Project Microsoft Excel Risk Radar Website Conference Calls Video Conferencing..easy, cheap now Meetings –Have only as needed –Have set agenda and maximum time

50 Simple Project Tracking with Excel

51 Risk Radar Risks Display

52 I can do it well I can do it cheap I can do it fast Pick any two Red Adair

53 What is the goal of technology in EMS? To provide the best possible care for our patients? To have the most flashy wiz-bang toys in which to impress rival services and attract new personnel? To improve revenues and speed reimbursement? Some combination of all of these?

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